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#pounditWednesday, May 31, 2023

Lou Williams not sure he will play for Clippers in Orlando

As the LA Clippers gun for their first title in franchise history at the NBA’s planned restart in Orlando, they may be without one of their top scorers for it.

In a video chat with fans on Thursday, Clippers guard Lou Williams said that he was uncertain about playing in Orlando, citing a desire to continue focusing on the fight for social and racial justice.

“I think for us, the only benefit of us not playing is to keep the focus on the fight,” said Williams, per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “And with that being said, this is in six weeks, so we don’t know what it looks like in six weeks. In six weeks the world may need some healing, they may need us to be on the floor. But if more Black kids or more Black adults or any adults that’s dealing with police brutality are getting killed and we’re still outraged, I don’t know if it’s in our best interests to suit up because it looks like we don’t care. You know what I mean? It’s just a fine balance we’re trying to create.

“Like I said, earlier, this is a whirlwind of a time,” Williams added. “We don’t know what’s the right decision now, we’re trying to figure that out on the fly like everybody else because, you know, we have a job to do and livelihoods and we have families to feed and we’re also a majority of Black men at the same time. And so we’re trying to find that balance where if we do suit up we’re having conversations behind closed doors. If we do suit up, how much of this platform can we really use? Can we get a ‘Black Lives Matter’ patch on our jerseys? Can our jerseys say ‘Black Lives Matter’? Can the court say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ so we can use that platform to the best of our abilities? So it’s just hard to call, bro. it’s honestly, it’s hard to call. I’m 50-50 right now [on playing], to be honest with you.”

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year Williams, who had ranked third on the Clippers this season with 18.7 points per game, was quoted last week in a Bleacher Report graphic calling the NBA’s return a “distraction” amid the current climate. Williams later expounded on his quote in a succession of tweets though and hinted at ultimately playing.

NBA players have until June 24 to inform their teams whether or not they plan to participate in the Orlando restart. Williams, who could be approaching his last shot at a big contract when he becomes a free agent in 2021, is not the only key player on a playoff team who may sit out either.


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